ol_yellow_eyes: (looking over)
[personal profile] ol_yellow_eyes
[OOC: Continued from here.]

It had been going so well.

What started as a casual evening stroll through Highgate Cemetery in 19th-century London somehow turned into a flight for their lives. Data did not know why they were running, only what they were running from-- three rather large human males, who seemed quite angry about something. He had also caught glimpses of weapons in their possession, namely a pistol and what seemed to be a horsewhip. (He might have wanted to observe them more closely if he had not been so concerned for River's safety.)

She knew the city better than he did, and she was the one who suggested they take advantage of the city's sewage system.

And that is how they ended up here.

Data turns to River finally. "Now that we are no longer in immediate danger, may I ask why those men might have been pursuing us?"

Date: 2010-11-18 08:17 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (soft smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
"Thank you," she says, slipping the wet garment off and letting it fall to the floor. "My head is feeling much better now." Her fingers take their time working the button of her trousers. That undone, she bends to start unlacing her boots.

She has curves. Curves upon curves. She is a woman in her prime and it shows.

"Didn't know your programming included a modesty algorithm." He's learning to recognise that saucy lilt in her voice as an affectionate tease.

Date: 2010-11-18 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data is not feeling ambitious enough to appreciate her curves, just yet. He lets his gaze wander inconspicuously upwards only as far as her calves, and stops. He puts the medkit back into the leather bag exactly as it was, and gets up to replace it underneath the bed.

"It does," he replies, his back turned. "I did not have it originally, I was told, but apparently it became necessary." He stops there, noticing a small surge of the emotion he has come to know as embarrassment. And suddenly he wonders why he told her that.

Now that the medkit is back in its proper place, Data stands up again, not quite sure what to do with himself.

Date: 2010-11-18 08:34 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (soft smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
Out of her boots, River stands, still a bit wobbly, but not much, and begins to work her trousers down over her hips.

"Body modesty is such a quaint custom, I find. Too many years working in subtropical regions, I suppose. It's all right. You can look if you like."

She knows she's making him uncomfortable, but she gets the sense that sometimes he needs to be shoved bodily out of his comfort zones.

Date: 2010-11-18 08:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data only hesitates for a few seconds after that, turning halfway at first, then stepping to face her completely.

And he looks.

She is beautiful. All organic life is beautiful, he thinks, in a way that is natural and flowing and imperfect, but he cannot miss the fact that River is a fine specimen of her species. A woman in her prime, indeed-- her curves indicate every traditional ideal of fertility and sensuality. Grace and confidence seem to radiate from her in a way that his senses can almost detect physically, and it is clear to him that she is just as comfortable with his gaze as she had implied.

It is probably impossible to tell that this is what he is thinking, however. He has not moved; he is simply looking, with an expression that is perhaps unreadable.
Edited Date: 2010-11-18 09:35 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-11-18 05:15 pm (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (shy smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
River is excellent at reading faces, and it is utterly impossible to tell what he's thinking.

She knows that she's still awash in river filth, and painfully aware of the bit of dried blood in her hair. Nevertheless, he's a big boy and if he has a problem with her nudity, she trusts he'll say something. She bends and fishes her sonic screwdriver out of the pocket of her trousers, and uses it to heat the water in the pitcher on the side board. She pours the now steaming water into the basin, and wets a face cloth, wringing it out.

Her eyes close as she wipes her face and throat, and he can hear her sigh, long and drawn out.

"Remind me never to play cards with you."

Date: 2010-11-19 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data blinks at that, and he looks more alert. "I beg your pardon?" He has not made the necessary connection.

It is possible that he might have, if he was not so distracted.

(His eyes had been following a drop of water that started to slide beneath her collarbone.)

Date: 2010-11-19 04:35 pm (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (tousled hair smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
She turns her back and addresses his image in the mirror. One hand draws her hair up off her nape so she can wash her neck and shoulders.

"You play your cards very close to the chest. Humans tend to communicate all the time, a never ending stream of information, 90% of it non-verbal, even when they don't know they're doing it. You?"

She smirks at him and gives a little headshake, hands rising and wringing out the cloth.

Date: 2010-11-19 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"I am more conscious of the forms of non-verbal communication I am displaying at any given time," Data admits. "Not completely, however, if I am not choosing to monitor them. And there are some functions I cannot consciously control."

His pulse rate, for example. Or the fact that the average duration of time between the blinks of his eyes has become noticeably shorter. Or that even his breathing is slightly faster, as his systems try to regulate an increase in temperature.

"In regards to what humans communicate, it does not give me as much of an advantage as one might assume. I do not always interpret the signs correctly." There is something almost vulnerable in his expression as he makes this observation, like it is more of a question.

(But River may notice that his gaze is not quite directed at her face in the glass. It is slowly tracing the curves of her neck and shoulders, like a paintbrush trying to capture them on a canvas.)
Edited Date: 2010-11-19 05:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-11-19 10:21 pm (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (looking up smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
She is noticing. It's the first hint she's had that he's paying attention. She continues her ablutions, her movements slow, almost dreamlike. Careful certainly because of the thrashing she's taken, and yes, she has the bruises to show for it, but there's something else there.

"Yes, we're very complex machines in our own right, aren't we? But I think you understand us far more than you give yourself credit for. And besides," she turns to look at him over her shoulder, "part of the allure of such interactions is the uncertainty."

Date: 2010-11-20 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"I have heard that," Data says, rather slowly.

"But I assure you, I am somewhat inept when it comes to deciphering human body language. I do not have the instinct that most humans seem to possess.

"I would guess... that you are probably better at reading people than I am..."

His eyes have slipped somewhere down by her waist at this point.

Date: 2010-11-20 01:09 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (considering)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
"Possibly." She turns back to the mirror, twisting her hair up and tying it into a knot. She enjoys watching him look, as if the mirror gives them both an illusion of privacy. And it's clear she's in no hurry to finish bathing.

"But then, I have the advantage of being born to it."

She shifts her weight to one leg, one hip dropping as she lifts her foot to balance on just her toes, the other hip extending to counterbalance, a classical posture that makes her look like a Greek sculpture.

Date: 2010-11-20 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
She may notice Data's head twitch slightly. A look of confusion crosses over his face, as he tries to figure out if there was some reason she shifted position in that way.

He does not get very far with his analysis, however. Both because he does not have enough information and because he is still distracted. (He does far too much painting, he realizes. He should really endeavor to explore sculpting processes more fully sometime...)

His mouth is slightly open for a few moments before he speaks again. "But you say you have difficulty reading me?" He manages to bring his gaze back up to her face by the end of the sentence.

Date: 2010-11-20 01:40 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (looking up smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
"Yes," she sing songs a bit, washing her arms now.

"I can't tell if you're just curious about the female form or if you're aroused. The latter is a bit of a stretch to assume, but seeing as your form is human, and everything I've seen of your behaviour is based on a standard human template, I can't help but wonder if whoever created you saw fit to include courtship and reproductive behaviours as well."

She's an archaeologist by profession. The degrees in anthropology, sociology and psychology are all adjunct to that.

Date: 2010-11-20 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
River's observations give Data more information, though perhaps not as much as he would like. He knows that she is curious now, but he does not want to assume the reason.

(He has a theory, regarding human "instinct." He sometimes wonders if it is associated with the phenomenon known as "wishful thinking," if perhaps humans seem to know what others are thinking simply because they happen to want the same thing at the same time.

At this moment, he is wondering if a similar thing is affecting his systems as well.)

"I am not... capable of reproduction, in the biological sense," Data notes. "But I have been programmed in a broad variety of... pleasuring techniques..."

He still has not answered the question she is wondering about.

...Or has he?
Edited Date: 2010-11-20 02:28 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-11-20 02:33 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (blue eyes)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
That gets a little chuckle from her. "Pleasuring techniques. How very clinical, as if you might need them to earn passage off planet when you're without other resources."

She's still watching him in the mirror, her eyes sparking with mirth.

"So you're capable of giving pleasure -- sexual pleasure, so we're clear on the subject -- but are you programmed to have an emotional response? Do you experience attraction and fascination? Do you get aroused?"

Date: 2010-11-20 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"I..." Data stops, actually having to take a brief moment to think about how to answer the question.

"I am programmed with appropriate emotional responses," he tells her. "I have always been quite fascinated with the experience, and I would even say that I have been attracted to people." Not often, but it has happened. (Now, for example.)

"I am not certain that I would classify what I experience as 'arousal,' however, since much of arousal is based on physical pleasure. My systems are designed to simulate certain physical responses, but it does not feel like anything in particular to me."

She may notice that he is on the verge of babbling again; he has started talking faster, instead of pausing periodically like he was a few moments ago.

Date: 2010-11-20 03:51 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (excuse me?)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
Her brow furrows and she turns towards him just a bit.

"Wait, hold on a moment. You don't feel physical pleasure?"

Date: 2010-11-20 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"That is correct," Data answers. He looks a bit curious as to why she might be asking.

Date: 2010-11-20 04:07 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (considering)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
River blinks rapidly, turning fully and resting one hand on her hip. She's gone from seductress to engineer in a heart beat.

"Is it a signal degradation issue? Or is it that your neural net has limiters?"

Date: 2010-11-20 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"The signals from my neural network are not processed as pleasurable or painful," Data explains. "They were not designed to do so. The connections between my nerve endings and my central processing unit are inadequate for transmitting that type of information."

Date: 2010-11-20 04:48 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (orly)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
"Bollocks. Why on earth would someone build you with all the right equipment, only forget to hook it up to the network? That's just..."

She's already turning back to the table, and retrieving the small device again.

"This is a sonic screwdriver. It's Time Lord technology, and if you'd permit me, I'd like to take a look at..." Again her voice tapers off, and she stops just in front of him, one hand on her hip, naked as the day is long.

Her expression softens and she rests a hand on his arm.

"Listen to me. Asking to see your interior without so much as a by your leave. Captain. Data. I find that I'm fiercely attracted to you, and I think, I mean I thought I was getting that you felt the same way. Only, if you can't feel pleasure, I don't believe I could, in good conscience, use you for my own nefarious purposes. It would be greedy and selfish of me."

Date: 2010-11-20 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
Data watches and listens attentively, with eyebrows that are raised slightly. When she has finished talking, he glances down towards her hand on his arm, then back to her face. She has just been incredibly straightforward, and now that he is more certain of where this is going...

He slips one hand around to the small of her back, pulling her into a gentle, grateful kiss.

"Permission granted," he tells her softly, pulling back. "And 'for the record,' as the human expression goes, I would not have considered it at all selfish on your part. I very much want to be with you, if you would have me, and would enjoy it greatly."

He actually takes a deep breath after saying that. His pulse is running even faster than it was before, as he considers what he has just agreed to. Technology in the 52nd century is surely better than 24th-century technology, so it is easily conceivable that she will be able to find a solution to the problem.

Date: 2010-11-20 05:50 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (looking up smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
She returns that kiss, a little less chaste this time, and when he pulls away, she stays close against him, her hands resting against his chest. When she speaks, her breath feathers against the corner of his mouth.

"As flattering as that is, and it is flattering to think of laying on that bed and letting you turn me inside out with your -- 'pleasuring techniques' -- I rather enjoy the thought of sharing that experience with you. Good sex is about letting go and enjoying yourself. And I can't do that if I think you're on the outside, looking in. Does that make sense?"

Date: 2010-11-20 06:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ol-yellow-eyes.livejournal.com
"Yes," Data says, with a slight nod. "I can certainly understand why you would feel that way."

His eyes dart around her face for a few moments. With her hands on his chest, River might be able to feel the vibration of the pumping mechanism in his heart, which is currently operating at approximately 100 beats per minute.

Eventually, he leans in and kisses her cheek, softly but intentionally, back next to her ear.

"Let me know how I may assist you."

Date: 2010-11-20 06:12 am (UTC)
hell_in_highheels: (looking up smile)
From: [personal profile] hell_in_highheels
She beams at the gentleness of the kiss, her eyes darkening.

"You're shielded, fairly well, and yes, I did try to scan you earlier. My curiosity got the better of me. Call it the academic equivalent of taking a peek at your arse," she grins and winks at him.

"Do you have a maintenance port of some sort?"

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